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Loud and very bad sound while driving my Civic

If any one could help, I would really appreciate it.

I was driving my son to Mygym this morning and everything was completely normal, but when I got onto the highway for the last 5 minutes of the drive my car started making a loud fast rhythmic thumping sound. I thought it was my tire and slowed down to stop… and then in stopped. So I went a little faster and as soon as I hit 50, it started again. I slowed down and drove the rest of the way to my sons class and looked at my tires and they looked fine to me (I have no idea what a tire should look like, but I can tell if one is very flat… I think). I also looked under the car for any obvious debris or whatever and didn’t see anything.

We had our class and when I got back on the highway and accelerated to 50, it started back up again, so I slowly drove to our exit. By the time we were nearly home I wasn’t even thinking about the problem anymore, but in the 45 zone near our home it started thumping again… sure enough, I was going 50.

I made an appointment to get my car looked at, but it is not until Tuesday. If anyone has any idea what is wrong and what it is likely to cost, I would really appreciate your help. I am also wondering if it is safe to drive my car as long as I stay under 50? I have no other means of transportation and we need to go out pretty often (daily) for classes and therapies for my son. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

You don’t give the year of your Civic or the miles on it. It could be lots of things, does the sound change as you go faster?

Possible causes are a bad wheel bearing, a bad CV joint, or some debris caught somewhere beneath the car that starts rubbing when the air pressure pushes it against a moving part as your speed increases.

It’s also possible that a tire has developed an internal failure. It’s good that you’re getting this checked out. Let us know the results. We care.

Oh, it’s a 2007 and it has almost 70k miles on it. I am the only owner and I never had a problem with it before. I got new tires once, maybe around 50k, they look pretty good to me. Just had an oil change last month and an inspection then as well. Sorry, didn’t even think to add info like that, I know very little about cars. I was just talking about trading it in to get a new one a few weeks ago… maybe I should have listened to myself?

And I didn’t test at higher speeds, it pretty much terrified me and I wasn’t going to push it with my son in the car.

Thanks so much for your quick responses!

Sounds like a tire. The noise being rhythmic is a good description of the type of noise a tire will make, not a bearing. You should start at the tire dealer, rotating the tires and seeing if the noise changes would be a good start to finding the problem. There is probably still warranty on the tire. Hopefully you have been rotating the tires, at least 2 times since the were put on. About every 7500 miles is a good rotation interval. Lack of rotation is the most common premature tire failure I see on Hondas, it’s extremely important for good tire wear and long tire life. Bearing noise isn’t rhythmic, and the noise will change when turning. I’ve never seen a cv joint make noise going forward, only when turning, and your mileage is too low to expect cv joint failure, unless a boot is torn.

You probably have an object in one of your tires, like a nail or a screw. It can cause a thumping noise and then go away for a while. Get the tires checked ASAP.

OK, it ended up being pretty much nothing :stuck_out_tongue: There was a flap of plastic that was cracked and knocked loose that was making the sound. I didn’t really get much in the way of details as I was busy when they called, but it only cost me $57 to get it fixed and it is nice and (not really) quiet just like usual, so I am very happy. I feel silly not driving it for so long!

On a side note, I have never had my tires rotated that I know of, other than when installed and maybe if it is ever done as part of inspection or the normal maintenance? I did take the car to a car wash this year though, so I feel good about that :slight_smile: I pretty much do whatever the dealership says to do (not much really) and leave it at that. Not much of a car person, but a big car safety person :slight_smile:

I feel ready to get a new car soon, now that something (minor) has (barely) gone wrong I feel like trading in in case something serious is coming up. I feel like this is a warning. I usually trade in right before 80k, but I might send this one back early. My son wants a green car anyway :slight_smile: And by that I mean color, had a very bad experience with my 01 Civic Hybrid that I don’t ever want to repeat.

Thanks for all of the help, glad you were all wrong though, as this was about the cheapest car repair ever! Maybe I’ll even ask about this tire rotation thing…

An '07 Civic with less than 80K miles still has many more good miles of service left in it. However more things will go wrong and need attention simply due to age. At 5 years old some car batteries fail. I don’t feel a battery is a “major” item, but perhaps you would. Replacing the battery should preempt an episode where you car won’t start some morning when you need to go to work.

If you feel ready for a new car, then go for it. With a new battery your 5-6 year old Civic should be good for up to 105K miles with just a few things like tires and brakes as needed. Next service ask the dealer is the car has ever had the auto transmission fluid changed? If not, I’d get that done and drive on with confidence.

My '03 Civic needed a new timing belt at 105K miles and I’m not sure if the '07 Civic still had a timing belt in the motor or not.

I think I remember that my Civic does not have a timing belt, I think my dad said that was a good thing about it when I bought it. I usually trade in at lower mileage just to get more money towards the new car and have a lower monthly payment. I traded in my Hybrid for 12500 towards my current civic and only owed 5000 after that. I know that I won’t get anything like that for my standard civic, but it was nice. I didn’t mention to the dealership that the car was broken (they were unable to fix it at that same dealership, where I also bought it, so I didn’t feel so bad about ripping them off at that point… especially since I was sure they were just pushing off the repair until the hybrid battery warranty ran out at 80k). I remain of the opinion that they shouldn’t sell it if they can’t fix it.

Before I bought my first new car I always had used cars with mileage over 80k and had constant breakdowns and issues and I vowed to never drive a high mileage car again and especially never to buy a used car.

Now I just have to decide what to buy. I love Civics, but I hate the super low clearance that mine has (always scraping the front when parking, probably how I broke the plastic part to begin with.) I also would like some fancier stuff like variable speed wipers or whatever they are called… and no sunroof. I don’t have a garage and in my experience the rubber in those things breaks down and leaks after years of sun and weather exposure. Oh, well, this is a whole 'nother issue and I should have a good year to decide before I hit 80k. Buying a new car also has the added benefit of being fun and exciting :slight_smile:

Thanks again for all of the help :slight_smile:

The 2012 Civic got a Not Recommended by Consumers Report. They felt that Honda had gone too far in their cost cutting and it showed up on the fit and finish. Try an Accord.

Ah, thank you for that info. I was thinking of going with the Accord, but have held back due not only to the extra cost, but also due to the size, I have always driven smaller cars (Civics and Jettas). I drive my Mom’s Camry sometimes and feel like I’m driving a big floaty boat! I wish they made a higher end small car :confused: I’ll look into test driving an Accord though, thanks :slight_smile:

They shrunk the 2013 Accord, but you might also look at the Acura version of the Civic.

“The 2012 Civic got a Not Recommended by Consumers Report”
@Keith–I subscribe to CR, but I am not certain about a negative recommendation based on “fit and finish”. Sorens Mommy will have to live with the car, not CR. CR recommended the Toyota Sienna minivan, and I own one. The minivan is satisfactory, but the interior finish is not as good as the 2006 Chevrolet Uplander that I previously owned and CR gave a low rating. My son now owns the Uplander and the odometer reads 103,000 and the Uplander has been quite trouble free. I agree with Sorens Mommy about driving a floaty boat car. I would prefer a firmer riding car with a mediocre interior than a floaty boat car with a plush, well fitted interior.

One more comment–I would be inclined to keep driving the 2007 Civic.